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Contents Issue 16, may-Jun 2013

52

28

On the cover 24

At home with the National Library of Ireland Hear about the best online and on-site resources if you’re visiting the NLI

28

Read all about it! Dr Perry McIntyre shows you how to find your convict in the Irish newspapers

32

‘Unsuitable to the colony’ Dr Richard Reid examines the strained relationship between Irish assisted immigrants and colonial Australia

36

Remembering the famine orphans Find out about the Irish Famine Memorial and the database that is commemorating thousands of famine orphans

46

The Irish diaspora It didn’t just affect our ancestors. We look at the project documenting current emigration

50

Pin up your history! How the Benevolent Society and the State Library of Queensland are remembering their long histories

52

Who was Australia’s Great Gatsby? Could Hugh D McIntosh, aka Huge Deal, be our very own version of Jay Gatsby?

60

Travelling the Emerald Isle Why 2013 is the perfect time to travel to Ireland and learn more about your family tree

36


66

Contents your family 41

Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day The custom of St Patrick’s Day is almost as old as the colony itself. Jeff Kildea looks at how our Irish ancestors spent the day

48

Convict in the family? Hear from three Australians about what their ancestor’s shady past means to them

66

Fame and fortune in the Sunshine State Jane Grieve, from the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame, tells how her colonial forebears continue to capture her imagination 16

Ask our experts Our genealogy experts answer your questions

Finding Henry Lawson 18 Ian Hoskins investigates the poet’s influences in his own North Sydney neighbourhood

History now We spotlight great events you won’t want to miss around Australia and New Zealand

your history 56

regulars 6

Editor’s letter

10 Postie’s here! Your thoughts, your say 11 Bob’s your uncle Network with other researchers and break down those brick walls! 13 Platform We talk with Irish Consul General, Caitriona Ingoldsby, about family history; plus, the latest history and genealogy news

27

History apps From name maps to learning if you’re related to royalty: we review the latest app releases

68

The book shelf What we’re reading right now

74

One picture…1,000 memories The story behind one family’s precious image

offers 71

Subscribe to Inside History… …for the opportunity to win one of 10 books from Cork University Press

50


our family

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

PO Box 406 Erskineville NSW 2043 Australia Publisher Ben Mercer ben@insidehistory.com.au Editor Cassie Mercer cass@insidehistory.com.au Editorial assistant and feature writer Sarah Trevor Designers Rohana Archer Kelly Bounassif Amy Di Stasio Maree Oaten Editorial contributors Jean Bedford Michael Blenkins Miranda Farrell Linda Funnell Jane Grieve Paula Grunseit Barbara Hall Shauna Hicks Ian Hoskins Annette Hughes Kylie Mason Mark Pearce Perry McIntyre Meg Quinlisk Richard Reid Mark Webster Print Subscriptions See page 71 or subscribe online at www.insidehistory.com.au Digital Subscriptions For iPad, find us on Apple Newsstand For Android and PC, find us at au.zinio.com

Cover image Thomas Murphy, a brewer from Clonmel, County Tipperary with two women, possibly his sisters, wearing gorgeous millinery! Photograph taken in August 1901 by A H Poole Studio. Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland. Turn to page 24 to read how the National Library of Ireland can help you discover more about your family and where they came from in Ireland.

Inside History (ISSN 1838-5044) is published six times a year by Cassie Mercer (ABN 13 353 848 961) PO Box 406 Erskineville NSW 2043 Australia. Views expressed by the authors are not necessarily those of the publisher. Copyright 2013 by Cassie Mercer and Inside History. All rights reserved. Distributed by Gordon and Gotch Australia Printed by Ligare Pty Ltd 138 Bonds Road Riverwood NSW 2210


editor’s letter

A thousand welcomes to our Irish issue! We’ve thoroughly enjoyed putting it all together for you. And with nearly 40 per cent of Australians having Irish ancestry, we hope you enjoy reading it. And what a grand issue it is! Irish-Australian experts Dr Perry McIntyre and Dr Richard Reid have penned some terrific articles for you, covering how to get the most from Irish newspapers (page 28), Irish immigration in the 1800s (page 32), and the Irish Famine Memorial in Sydney (page 36). Irish Anzac historian Jeff Kildea looks at the history of St Patrick’s Day in Sydney on page 41, and on page 24 the National Library of Ireland answers our questions on how to use their genealogy resources, both online and on site. If you are lucky enough to be travelling to Ireland in 2013, you’ll want to read our travel piece in collaboration with Tourism Ireland on their must-see spots. And why is 2013 the year to travel to the Emerald Isle? It’s the year of The Gathering! You can even organise your own events. Read more on page 60. While I’m on that topic, don’t miss our special interview on page 13 with Consul General to Ireland, Caitriona Ingoldsby, who tells us about the Irish Famine Memorial Commemoration, and her own family history. And on page 9 our contributors reveal their favourite historical spots to visit when they’re back on green soil. Plus we have lots of other great stories in this issue. All the talk surrounding Baz Luhrmann’s remake of The Great Gatsby had us thinking — did Australia have its own real-life version of Jay Gatsby? We asked historian Michael Blenkins to investigate. Read his story on page 52 about mover-andshaker-about-town, Hugh McIntosh, aka, “Huge Deal”. And weren’t we happy when Hugh turned out to have Irish ancestry, too! Happy reading…


letters

A brick wall demolished

Postie’s here!

Thank you for your inspirational Facebook Q&A sessions every Thursday night on your Facebook page. The chance to ask professional historians, researchers or genealogists questions that are stalling your own research is invaluable! I had always thought that my grandfather, Lindsay James Turner, had only one brother who died in WWI, Lionel Albert, but my brother said that there was another brother, Francis Brambell. I could not find this man. I had actually given up when, in January, Inside History had a Facebook Q&A with Jennie Norberry, Liz Holcombe and Cameron Atkinson from the Australian War Memorial, and I thought I’d give it one last go. Jennie advised I look at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website (www.cwgc.org) as he could have enlisted under another name. I came across a name, Charles Alexandra Turner, which I had previously dismissed in other records, but the CWGC had additional information — the address listed was the same as my family’s! I looked up the name on the National Archives of Australia website and found 88 pages — notes, official papers and a very telling letter confirming that this man was indeed our Frank. He had died in France, his grave unknown, but his name is on a memorial that my brother had actually visited in France. Once again, thank you for the Facebook Q&A sessions. They are a fabulous resource, as your guest experts teach us to “look outside the square”. — Christine Young, via email

Like us on facebook.com/insidehistorymagazine

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Missing piece of the puzzle

I grew up within my mother’s parents’ family. There were three boys in the family — Gerald, Frederick and Francis. Frank’s second wife, Joy, told me a ‘family secret’ of how my grandmother Minnie Louisa Brocklehurst (née Coltart), the daughter of a ship owner who resided in Lancashire, had become pregnant to her brother’s best friend and had been sent to New Zealand to have the child. That child was Gerald and his father was Harold George Brocklehurst. I’ve only ever been able to piece together parts of this story and have always longed to know more. My son gave me a subscription to Inside History, and I couldn’t believe it when I saw your article, “Was your ancestor a remittance man?”, in issue 14. It mentioned George Brocklehurst and revealed the missing jigsaw piece in this anguished family history. Thank you, it has resolved many of the questions I’ve asked since I was a young man. — David Haynes, via email Want to have your say on our “Postie’s here” page? Write to us at contribute@insidehistory.com.au and we'll publish your letters here.

Each issue our star letter will receive a great prize for writing in! This issue, David Haynes wins a copy of A Gun for a Fountain Pen by George Murray Levick (Fremantle Press, $49.99)

Join us on twitter.com/insidehistory


Latest news

from the history and genie world

Democracy by the pen and sword

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The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E) in Ballarat will open in May. Inspired by the Eureka Stockade in 1854, the museum aims to bring history to life by focusing on how people, rather than political processes, have shaped democracy. Through an interactive timeline that places the Eureka Stockade alongside democratic movements from all over the world, the museum explores how democracy has developed through its 3,000-year history, explains curator, Eithne Owens. “We want to get people to value democracy, to question and challenge it,” says Eithne. “It’s a process of re-engaging people.” Eithne, who has previously worked on the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Scotland and the Titanic Belfast project, is excited to examine Eureka’s place in Australia’s history and democracy. “It is a significant moment in the development of the Australian identity,” she said. “It’s the birth of the fair go. [Eureka] had charismatic leaders, rousing speeches, big ideas, and the flag, of course, which is an incredibly powerful symbol.” The iconic flag of the Southern Cross will be displayed in a purpose-built gallery, along with a range of historical artefacts, including a 19th-century stoneware ink well, commonly known as a penny ink well. Innovative state-of-the-art digital story-telling techniques are set to further enrich the museum experience. MORE www.made.org

One of the objects on display at M.A.D.E is a 19th-century penny ink well, thought to be associated with the goldfields.

Convict bonnets to be honoured in Ireland In tribute to Australia’s convict women founders, tens of thousands of bonnets — each symbolising a transported female convict — will be brought to Ireland this May as part of The Gathering celebrations. This project, called Roses from the Heart, was initiated by Tasmanian artist Christina Henri in order to commemorate convict womens’ contributions to the founding of Australia. Some 25,266 bonnets were then made by people from all over the world, many by the convicts’ descendants. One bonnet was made by Judy Bayles for Jemima Bolton, who was assigned as a housekeeper to the New South Wales Governor at Old Government House, Parramatta in 1810. Jemima went on to marry John Fisher the following year, and their son Thomas’s generous bequest in 1884 to the University of Sydney saw its Fisher Library named in his honour. By transporting the cloth bonnets back to Ireland, Christina hopes to symbolically return ‘the girls’ to their home. Upon their return, an event hosted by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Naoise O Muiri, in the heritage Mansion House building will honour the convict women whose contribution has long been shrouded. MORE www.rosesfromtheheart. tumblr.com

The bonnet made for Jemima Bolton is part of the collection heading to Ireland in May.


FamilySearch to digitise 100,000 books

Perth’s historic Karrakatta Cemetery, which opened for burials in 1899, has recently been the site of controversy. So popular has the cemetery been as a burial spot among local residents that it is now technically full and lacks space for further expansion. The Metropolitan Cemeteries Board’s subsequent renewal program has seen the removal of old headstones to make room for new graves. In protest, a small yet vocal volunteer group called Saving Graves WA is campaigning for the amendment of legislation to prevent these headstones’ removal. Historian Sandra Playle, leader of Saving Graves WA, believes that there are no valid reasons for the removal of headstones. She argues that their removal endangers not only valuable historic artefacts but also the record of generations past, from everyday individuals to founding pioneers. “They have no markers on their graves; no identifying features to allow their descendants to reflect about their ancestors’ lives,” says Sandra. Sign the petition below if you’d like to support Saving Graves WA. MORE http://chn.ge/WXPdEI

Saving graves

Karrakatta Cemetery in Western Australia is the focus of a new campaign to save its historical headstones.

In exciting news from the US, FamilySearch has an extensive book digitisation project underway aiming to digitise up to 30,000 family and local histories each year. The goal is to digitise FamilySearch’s entire collection of more than 100,000 family and community histories from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, along with the holdings of other American libraries and family history centres. The project began in 2007. Finetuning the technological and copyright procedures was an initial challenge, as approximately 10 per cent of the collection remains bound by copyright restrictions. In this case, FamilySearch seeks the copyright holder’s permission to digitise the book. If they cannot be contacted, FamilySearch places the hard copy in storage and uploads an equivalent digital copy, which is then accessible to only one person at a time. “Our book scanning is now a strong viable program,” said Dennis Meldrum, manager of the project. “Already we have more than 60,000 family histories and other genealogical books that are available for the public to view online.” Institutions that would like to learn more or participate in the program can contact Dennis at meldrumdl@familysearch.org MORE Search the catalogue at books.familysearch.org

31 days of family history Good news: National Family History Week in Australia this year is trialling as a month-long event! National Family History Month in August will see a range of family history events around Australia. Visit www.familyhistoryweek.org.au for more details as they’re released.

Inside History | May-Jun 2013 |

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Image Rollerskater Nellie Donegan, 1913. Courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, ID P1/486.
Colourised image Courtesy National Museum of Australia.

what’s on

History now The best events across Australia & New Zealand

compiled by Miranda farrell, Meg Quinlisk and sarah trevor

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Glorious Days: Australia 1913

Until 13 October Showing at the National Museum of Australia, this exhibition invites you to step back in time and discover what Australian life was like in 1913. Sometimes described as a ‘hinge year’, 1913 was a time of tremendous optimism in Australia: a time when people embraced the modern world of automobiles, aeroplanes, roller-skating and cinema while attitudes and prejudices from the past persisted. Glorious Days features beautiful artworks, costumes, music and newsreel footage from Australia a century ago. Visit www.nma.gov.au

Inside History | May-Jun 2013 |

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New South Wales Crossing

11 May to 8 June Crossing delves into the story of explorer Gregory Blaxland. Created and produced by Blaxland’s ancestors, accomplished theatre producers Wendy Blaxland and her daughter Jessica Blaxland Ashby, the play tells the story of the first documented successful expedition by Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson. It also features other early stories of the Blue Mountains including the 40,000 years of Aboriginal crossings, early attempts by the first European settlers, and the first families and travellers to attempt this perilous route. Visit www.blaxlandanddaughter.com

Port Macquarie Family History Fair 2013

18 May Why not escape to Port Macquarie this May for the upcoming Family History Fair? It will be organised by the Port Macquarie and Districts Family History Society and held in the ground floor auditorium of Port Macquarie Panthers. There will be presentations from Ancestry, findmypast, and FamilySearch to name a few. There will also be more than 20 genealogy, family and local history trading tables, including Inside History magazine. Come and say hello! Visit http://bit.ly/YjwE2e

on offer over the course of the weekend. Excitingly, this will coincide with the launch of the society’s new publication of biographies (profiling those buried in the Emu Plains Cemetery) which is set to be launched on 25 May. Visit www.nepeanfhs.org.au

Reliving the 60s

20 June Miniskirts, flower children, anti-Vietnam War protests and bell-bottomed pants... the ‘swinging sixties’ was a time of great social change in Australia. It was a decade that witnessed the growth of women’s liberation, the conservation movement and a popular culture increasingly influenced by trends abroad. In this talk held at the State Library of NSW, you’re invited to either reminisce or discover an era you missed out on! Magazines, posters, diaries and more will be on display. Bookings essential. Cost is $10. Visit www.sl.nsw.gov.au

Back to Emu Plains Weekend

25 to 26 May To coincide with the Back to Emu Plains celebrations, the Nepean Family History Society will host an Open House Weekend featuring displays and family history research assistance. Morning and afternoon teas and barbecues will be

Australian Capital Territory Preserving our Past, Inspiring our Future

7 May Come to this month’s meeting of The Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra to hear a talk delivered by author and biographer James Ferguson on the life of his grandfather, Sir John Alexander Ferguson. Sir John was a judge of the NSW Industrial Commission, the compiler of the seven-volume Bibliography of Australia and one of Australia’s pre-eminent book collectors. His collection now resides in the National Library of Australia and was used by James while researching his biography. Visitors are welcome and attendance is free. Visit www.hagsoc.org.au

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Conversations at Tuggeranong Homestead

20 June Come join historians Michael McKernan, Peter Stanley, Lenore Coltheart and others sharing their diverse visions of Australian history. This one-day seminar held at Canberra’s historic Tuggeranong Homestead (where Charles Bean started writing his official history of WWI), will focus on the challenges and issues historians face when writing about Australia’s history. Browse the bookstalls and enjoy live music during the lunch break. Entry fee includes morning and afternoon teas and lunch. Call 02 6231 4535 or email robhorsfield@bigpond.com


Queensland Lunchtime Talk and Workshop

Sugar

Convict Lives: Finding our Founders

Family History Open Day

8 May At this lunchtime talk hosted by the Royal Historical Society Queensland, speaker Joy Ware will discuss her book Altnachree: An Irish Castle, a Family and a Man with a Passion, the story of James Douglas Ogilby. The talk will be followed by a workshop on deciphering handwriting, presented by Saadia Thomson-Dwyer, from the Queensland State Archives. If you’d like to know how to read old handwritten documents such as letters and reports, this seminar is for you! Visit www.queenslandhistory.org

1 June Is there a convict on your family tree? This special seminar from the Queensland Family History Society, presented by authors, historians and senior librarians, will explore where the convicts came from, where they arrived, integration after 1840, and much more. You will also discover the best places to find more information on your convict ancestors. Bookings www.qfhs.org.au or call 07 3355 3369

8 June to 7 October Commemorating 150 years of Australian South Sea Islander contributions to Queensland, this thought-provoking exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery examines the history of the sugar industry that first brought South Sea Islanders to Australia. A range of works will be on display, from historical photographs to cutting-edge contemporary art installations, plus recorded stories from Australian South Sea Islanders to illuminate this often neglected chapter of Queensland’s history. Visit www.qagoma.qld.gov.au

16 June This June, the Family History Association of North Queensland (FHANQ) will open the doors to its well resourced library in Hermit Park, Townsville. The FHANQ Library contains biographical registers, convict indexes, immigration and shipping lists and much more. Peruse its thousands of books, CDs, microfilm and microfiche at this free event, while research assistants demonstrate online resources. Visit www.fhanq.org

PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION ON NOW

Sponsor

Part of

HISTORIC HOUSES TRUST OF NSW

Inside History | May-Jun 2013 |

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Victoria Exploring your Scottish Ancestry

25 May The Scottish Ancestry Group together with the Bendigo Regional Genealogical Society will present a Scottish research seminar in Kangaroo Flat, Victoria this May. There will be five presentations throughout the day on a broad  range of topics, such as exploring Scottish ancestry, using online resources, non-conformist and other churches, and clearances and land. Bookings are essential. Cost is $35 with morning and afternoon tea provided. Visit http://home.vicnet.net.au/~brgs

Free Online Databases at the GSV — UK

25 May Run by the Genealogical Society of Victoria (GSV), this course is all about putting you on the right track in your internet research. The session will cover online databases including Ancestry, The National Archives, The Genealogist, Origins Network, Burke’s Peerage, the British Newspaper Archive and

findmypast UK and Ireland. Plus one lucky attendee will win a 12 month Worldwide membership from Ancestry.com.au! Bookings are essential. The cost is $30 for members; $80 for non members. Visit www.familyhistorybookshop.org.au

Archives Tour and Immigration Records

27 June Struggling to ascertain how one of your ancestors came to Victoria? Or do you find yourself confused by the complex world of shipping records (assisted versus unassisted immigration, passenger lists, intercolonial arrivals, and all the rest)? If so, this information session is for you! Run by the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV), this free event will introduce you to PROV’s immigration holdings and will show you how to begin your research. A guided tour of the archives is also included. Admission is free. Register www.prov.vic.gov.au

South Australia Saving lives — one family recipe at a time

20 May Do some of your relatives always bring their speciality dish along on your family gettogethers? If so, it may just be time to start a family recipe book! Held in Campbelltown Library in Newton, this workshop is presented by historian and Inside History contributor Annie Payne from History from the Heart. It will show you how to gather, organise and preserve both the stories and the recipes of your family to leave as a family heritage legacy. Cost is $45 per person. Visit www.abouttime.sa.gov.au

Aliens, Spies and Conmen

30 May If you’re curious about what a security dossier might contain, come and explore the intriguing world of 20th-century espionage and investigation case files held by the National Archives. Presented by Sara King, this seminar — part of South Australia’s History Festival, About Time — will cover a range of topics including internment, national security and fraud, with a focus on those records relating to South Australia. Bookings are essential and entry is free. Email adelaideevents@naa.gov.au

Western Australia Accessing Archives Online

30 May Learn how you can trace your family’s history in the comfort of your own home at this free event at the National Archives of Australia, WA. Presenter Vesna Liso will explain how to access and use the Archives’ records online. Holding records on Australia’s defence, taxation, immigration, customs, education and more, the Archives are a good place for a genealogist to know their way around. A free tour of the building is included. Bookings are essential. Call 08 9470 7500 or email events@naa.gov.au

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UK Genealogy on the Internet

12 June Delve into online research, its benefits and challenges at this session. Family historian and genealogist Mike Murray will teach you how to explore your UK family history online, introducing you to some useful free and pay-toview websites and demonstrating how to get the most value out of each site. The course will be held at the Wanneroo Library and Cultural Centre. Cost is $25 for Western Australian Genealogical Society (WAGS) members; $30 for non members. Visit www.wags.org.au


Tasmania Tasmanian National Trust Heritage Festival

1 to 31 May Tasmania’s annual Heritage Festival is a highlight on the history lover’s calendar. This year, the National Trust of Australia in Tasmania will be preparing the event. Learn more about the state’s unique cultural heritage through the diverse program featuring walks, tours, open home displays plus events ranging from fairs, displays and talks — there’s something on offer for everyone. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.au/tas

Colonial Women

Until 9 June This exhibition at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery presents the work of 10 artists from the 1830s–1850s, a period of cultural and scientific innovation and expansion. The work of artists Louisa Anne Meredith, Mary Morton Allport and Theresa Walker are showcased alongside scientific illustrations, lithographs and other images, each a snapshot of insight into life in colonial times. Visit www.tmag.tas.gov.au

New Zealand Music for Mothers’ Day

12 May 2013 A group of classical singers and musicians from across Auckland are putting on a special concert for mothers, written by mothers, about mothers, including a selection of mothers’ favourites. The program will include music from long ago as well as the musical delights of today. The concert will take place at the beautiful and historic property, Alberton, located in Auckland. Bookings are essential. Tickets are available at $22 per person. Email cathieharrop@ihug.co.nz

NZ Society of Genealogists AGM Weekend

31 May to 3 June This year’s AGM will be hosted by the Franklin Branch of the NZ Society of Genealogists in Pukekohe. The program includes presentations on topics such as ‘Finding the Place of Origin for your Irish Immigrant Ancestor’, ‘Immigration to New Zealand’, ‘Fiction, Faction and Fact – what should family historians be writing?’ and plenty more. ‘Showcasing Franklin’ on the Sunday will explain how to access records relating to the people and families of Franklin. Visit www.genealogy.org.nz

About Time South Australia’s History Festival

1 – 31 May 2013 Featuring

Open House Adelaide 4 & 5 May 2013 abouttime.sa.gov.au

Grab a printed program from your local library, council, visitor information centre, museum or history group in early April.

Inside History | May-Jun 2013 |

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Experience the State Library of NSW like never before!

There is no cure for curiosity. Dorothy Parker

An exciting space of moving objects and revealing stories from the Library’s amazing collections. Currently showing: 60 intriguing objects from the Sir William Dixson collection

P&D-4014-3/2013

free

eNTrY

Macquarie St Sydney 2000 Phone (02) 9273 1414 www.sl.nsw.gov.au

An innovative new app that lets you discover more than the eye can see! Fast, free download to your device from the itunes app Store or the Google Play Store, or come in and use our inhouse tablets

free

Follow us on

app


genie on the go

History apps Though hardly hallowed by the passing of time, these apps harness the latest technology to help you link with the past in informative and interesting ways. We roadtest four of the latest to see how they fare.

name maps AU99c/NZ$1.29 iOS compatible

The Peerage FREE/AU$2.99/NZ$4.19; iOS compatible

Curio Free; iOS and Android compatible

State Library of SA Free; iOS and Android compatible

Name Maps shows surname distribution across the US and may be useful for anyone wanting to find other branches of your own immigrant family. This could offer leads, given there was considerable US immigration to New Zealand and Australia, particularly of miners, in the mid-to-late 1800s. See the states in the US where your surname is represented on a map, displayed in absolute or relative distribution. Absolute distribution gives an approximate number of people with the last name living in certain states, while relative distribution indicates the proportion of people with that last name in a certain state in relation to the total population.

Peerage is an easily searchable, ever-growing database of royal and noble genealogy containing more than 600,000 names. The free version comes with discrete ads, or pay $2.99 for the ad-free version. I was amazed to find distant cousins in both sides of my family listed here, even though they are both many generations removed from the member of the peerage. The site is kept well up-to-date, and includes recent noble births and marriages. Certainly worth checking out by anyone who has English ancestry with the possibility of finding nobility in the family tree, and a good tool for anyone interested in the Royals’ family tree. — Mark Pearce

Amaze is the State Library of NSW’s first new gallery since 1929, and it seems fitting that it has a brand new app to accompany it. Curio not only explains the exhibition but shows you where you fit with it. What do I mean? Well, like an audio tour you can listen to more about the object you’re looking at but unlike the old headphones, Curio finds the objects nearest you and saves what you’ve seen during your visit. When you get home you can continue to enjoy the collection by viewing your tour again. It even shows what you missed, so you can see it next time you visit. Plus, all this costs you nothing; Curio has its own WiFi you can access while you’re at the Library. — Ben Mercer

This app presents the State Library of South Australia’s new self-guided walking tours of Adelaide. The Lost Adelaide Tour allows you to compare photographs of the city’s demolished buildings from the Library’s rich collections with the streetscapes of today. Also included are a tour of Adelaide’s War Memorials and a tour of sites associated with significant South Australians, as well as library orientation tours. It’s a terrific package for visitors to Adelaide as well as for locals wanting to delve into their city’s history.   — Mark Webster

— Mark Webster

Inside History | May-June 2013 |

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your family

While official records and BDMs help us to glean the bare bones of our ancestors’ lives, a juicy newspaper account can help flesh out the stories. Perry McIntyre talks us through the best strategies for accessing elusive Irish historical newspapers.

O

n 24 July 1840, Eliza Mealin or Mealue arrived in Sydney as a convict on board the Isabella. The details on the ship’s indent show that Eliza was a Catholic native of County Longford, aged 33 and illiterate. She was a servant, tried in Longford town on 24 October 1839. Eliza’s court records were among those housed at the Public Record Office, in the Four Courts, Dublin. This building was used as an ammunition store by the Four Courts garrison. On 30 June 1922 it was blown apart, along with a thousand years worth of Irish state and religious archives. Irish court records relating to men and women transported to Australia were among those destroyed.

Since Irish court records are incomplete, searching the newspapers can be an alternate way to find details of Eliza’s crime. The Longford Journal of 26 October 1839 reported that Elizabeth Mealue and Anne Flynn were two women considered to be ‘notorious pests in the town’. Both had been sentenced to transportation for seven years. Indents often give the bare bones of the story, a tantalising hint at the lives of Irish convicts which can only be fleshed out in their full complexity by further research. The indent of the Eliza (1829) shows Henry Stapleton, aged 29, was transported for seven years from Kilkenny for stealing butter. He was a married butcher with three children who


your family

‘Unsuitable to the colony’ Dr Richard Reid looks at the often strained relationship between Irish assisted immigrants and the authorities who greeted them in colonial Australia.

S

ir Henry Parkes is honoured, among other things, as a father of Federation, a visionary who dreamt of a government for all Australia and articulated this in a famous speech at Tenterfield in 1889. What is less well remembered is his often outspoken views on the emigrating Irish. Rising on 14 October 1869 in the Legislative Assembly in Sydney, Sir Henry spoke against the adoption of a new Assisted Immigration Bill. The bill sought to reintroduce the system whereby in order

to come as a government immigrant to Sydney from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, it was necessary to have a friend or relative already in the colony to ‘nominate’ the intending migrant under what were known as the ‘Remittance Regulations’. These regulations, in force with various changes since 1848, required that the colonial nominator pay a proportion, about one quarter, of the fare with the government paying the rest. Operating in most of the Australian colonies, it encouraged family reunion and significant chain migration from the UK long before it was a recognised practice among continental European immigrants. For Sir Henry, and his supporters in the Assembly, it was a ruinous scheme, ‘the greatest curse the colony has laboured under’. Why? Because it handed immigration over to the Irish Roman Catholics: I do not want to see this colony, which is the birthplace of my children, converted

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your family

CONVICT IN THE

family?

A new exhibition presented by Sydney Living Museums takes a fascinating and unique approach to investigating the impact the crimes and transportation to Australia in the 18th and 19th century has had on the course of many families. Comprising 50 large-scale photographs by documentary photographer, Mine Konakci, A Convict In The Family? explores the connection between convict settlers, their living descendants and the petty crimes that changed the course of their family history. The sitters — ordinary Australians — are photographed in modern settings such as their home, garden or a public space with an item representing the crime that saw their ancestor exiled. Here, Mine reveals three of the images from the exhibition, and chats to Paula Grunseit about the project…

A convict in the family? runs until 14 July at the Museum of Sydney. On 11 May at Hyde Park Barracks join curator Fiona Starr, Mine Konakci and some of the sitters for a discussion on “What convicts left behind”. See www.sydneylivingmuseums.com.au for details.

John Benson, French conference interpreter and scriptwriter Ancestor’s name: Paul Benson Conviction: Stealing a handkerchief Sentence: Transported for seven years Age: 16 when transported Arrived: 1831 on the Lady Harewood Mine says: “For the shoot at Paul Benson’s grave, I took along several embroidered handkerchiefs from my childhood. We were working out what to do for the shot and I saw John put a handkerchief into his pocket. When the shoot ended I said “I think you’ve got my handkerchief there”, but he seemed to be in a dream state and didn’t hear me. I thought as he had a young child, he was probably sleep-deprived! When I went home I realised the act of his ancestor had just been re-enacted right there at his grave! When I emailed him the next day he was very apologetic and hadn’t even realised.”


Samuel Hodgkinson, museum assistant manager Ancestor’s name: William Bellamy Conviction: Stealing six pairs of leather shoes Sentence: Transported for seven years Age: 17 when convicted Arrived: 1791 on the Active Mine says: “Being a Turkish-born Australian, I’m quite envious that people can trace their family history back as far as seven generations. In Turkey, it’s much more difficult because the Ottoman Empire was such an amalgamation and the surname law was only introduced after the Republic in 1934. I was also sad to hear of so much hardship; the atrocious conditions people lived in that led them to commit these petty crimes. Maybe because I also have been through a migration, I’ve been drawn to other people who have been displaced.”

Janelle Collins, library technician and bookkeeper Ancestor’s name: Esther Spencer (née Salamon) Conviction: Stealing two silver salt holders, two silver salt spoons, two silver pepper castors and a silver tablespoon Sentence: Transported for life Age: 19 when convicted Arrived: 1796 on the Indispensible Mine says: “The original objects are not in the photographs so what we have are representations of the objects or a connection to them through the location. The people I met were so welcoming, enthusiastic, interested in their family history and proud of their convict past. I’ve met some wonderful people — I go into their homes and chat with them; they pose for me and I find a wonderful connection with such a wide cross section of people.” 

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Issue 16: May-Jun 2013